WiFi glossary

News (2016.09.02): WiFi Tips & Tricks

SSID: This is the name of a wireless network. SSID is a case sensitive, max 32 alphanumeric character unique identifier. Example: my-network

Access point(AP): Generally, this is your router. A device that allows wireless devices to connect to a wired network using Wi-Fi, or related standards.

AP capabilities: This is the security level of the AP. For example, it can be open (anybody can attach) or encrypted (with different encryption strength like WEP, WPA, WPA2) or even authenticated (username:password). Example: WPA2-PSK-CCMP

MAC address: A media access control address (MAC address), also called physical address, is a unique identifier assigned to network interfaces for communications on the physical network segment. Example: 00:00:00:00:00:01

BSSID: MAC address of the access point. This is also an unique identifier. There can be several APs on the same network (same SSID) with different BSSIDs. Example: 00:00:00:00:00:02

IP address: An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, mobile phones) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. Example:

Frequency: All wifi networks operate on a special frequency. The most common is the 2.4 GHz (2412-2484 MHz), or the 5 GHz (4980-5825 MHz).

Channel: Each frequency range is sub-divided into channels with a center frequency and bandwidth, analogous to the way radio and TV broadcast bands are sub-divided. For example: 2412 MHz = channel 1. 2437 MHz = channel 6.

Overlapping channel: the networks operate on close channels can cause interference on each other network. This can cause slow wifi data rate. In the 2.4 GHz band, 1, 6 and 11 are the only non-overlapping channels.

Guest network: Sharing your wifi with “guests”. The AP has dual SSIDs, dual security and the guest network is isolated from other networks.

Possible guest network: in WiFi Network Analyzer app, this message shows that it found a network that seems to be a guest network of the connected network.

WDS (expanded) network: WDS allows a wireless network to be expanded using multiple access points without the traditional requirement for a wired backbone to link them. Using WDS you can extend the range of your wireless network.

Possible WDS (expanded) network:  In WiFi Network Analyzer app, this message shows that it found a network that seems to be an expanded network of the connected network.

Link speed: This is the theoretical data rate. The current value of link speed depends on the distance from the AP, the signal strength, supported protocols by the AP and your mobile. In a wireless network, the link speed is always higher than the real achievable speed. Example: 433 Mpbs.

AP latency: This is the latency time of your access point (router) in ms. If someone generates hard network traffic, this value will be high so you can detect it easily.

Signal strength: This is the power of the received signal. The weakest the worst. A good signal is always higher than -75 dBm. If -90 dBm or lower, this is really bad. Example: -52 dBm.

Device-to-AP RTT support: Round trip time (RTT) between the AP and the mobile device over the WLAN is supported or not.

Wi-Fi Direct support: Wi-Fi Direct allows two devices to establish a direct, peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection without requiring a wireless router

DFS: Dynamic Frequency Selection. The access points automatically select frequency channels with low interference levels.

No DFS: In WiFi Network Analyzer app, hide the networks that use DFS. The reason: they are using a lot of channels, and it’s not practical to show them by default because the screen will be congested and ugly. You can enable it using this check box.

Useful links:
How to optimize your wifi with Android
WiFi Speed Test guide